CBS News and PBS suspended Charlie Rose, the TV-news veteran whose PBS interviews have made him a legend in the business and who has helped propel CBS’ morning programming to new heights, after he was accused of sexually harassing eight women in a new Washington Post report. Bloomberg, which runs the anchor’s “Charlie Rose” in the evening, said it would keep the program off of its network for the foreseeable future.
In a detailed article, the Post interviewed three of Rose’s accusers on the record. Some of the women worked as junior-level producers for his PBS program or aspired to do so. Some of the accounts are lurid, alleging Rose would travel with some of the women or invite them to work at his house, and then try to lure them to see him while he showered or otherwise approach them in a sexual manner. The accusations make Rose the latest in a series of prominent figures in media, entertainment and politics to be accused of trying to use his role to strike up sexual relationships with women in subordinate positions.
“In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked,” Rose said in a statement that was provided to the Washington Post. “Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues. It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
“I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too,” Rose added. “All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.”
But the networks that employ him said they would need to investigate the situation further. “Charlie Rose is suspended immediately while we look into this matter,” CBS News said in a statement. “PBS was shocked to learn today of these deeply disturbing allegations. We are immediately suspending distribution of ‘Charlie Rose,'” the public broadcaster said in a statement. “’Charlie Rose’ is produced by Charlie Rose, Inc., an independent television production company. PBS does not fund this nightly program or supervise its production, but we expect our producers to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect.” Bloomberg said it was “deeply disturbed” to learn of the allegations and had “suspended” Rose’s nighttime program, which it regularly airs.
Rose plays a key part of the anchor team at “CBS This Morning,” which has helped CBS make its first real inroads in TV’s scorched-earth morning-news wars for the first time in decades. The program relies on interplay between Rose and co-anchors Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell who discuss the pressing issues of the day with less focus on some of the frivolous elements found on rival morning programs like ABC’s “Good Morning America” or NBC’s “Today.”
Rose, 75 years old, has been a fixture for news aficionados for decades. He worked closely with Bill Moyers in the 1970s and helped produce several of that reporter’s PBS series. One of his big breaks came later that decade when he landed the chance to host his own morning program for KXAS in Fort Worth, Texas. He did a stint as a late-night anchor at CBS in the 1980s. He launched a solo nighttime program on PBS’s New York station WNET in 1991. That program, “Charlie Rose,” would get national syndication in 1993, and in 1994 move to a studio owned by Bloomberg.
Rose has had along association with CBS, serving as a correspondent for “60 Minutes II,” starting in 1999, and, later, “60 Minutes.” In 2012, he joined CBS as a co-anchor of its retooled morning program, all the while landing interviews with heads of state and other prominent executives that would air across CBS News programming.